Getting to Juniper Lake
To get to Juniper lake you access from Chester and follow the signs to Juniper Lake. You will need to be prepared for a 13-mile paved/gravel road. Six miles of this road is somewhat rough.
It is not recommended for buses, RVs, or trailers. Passenger cars can make this route and many choose to do so. If you do not have experience driving dirt roads you may want to choose one of our other lakes[link to lake page} which are easier to access.
If you are up to the dirt road the views, hikes, and great kayaking will be worth it.
Be prepared to see major destruction along the route north of Chester to Juniper Lake from the Dixie Fire.
Day Use at Juniper Lake
Really not up to camping, then plan a day at the lake and surrounding area and head back to Chester to spend the night.
Kayak, Canoe, or Stand-up Paddle Boards are all excellent choices to spend the day on the lake. Juniper Lake has no game fish, so do not plan to fish this lake. Plan a day of relaxing on the shore of the lake or hiking in the forest.
Juniper Lake is one of the largest lakes in Lassen Volcanic National Park sitting at an elevation of 6,700 feet and five miles of shoreline.
The book “Paddling Northern California” calls it a “sparkling mountain lake”.
Depending on when you visit you may be almost the only one enjoying the lake. On weekends during the summer you may be surprised by the number of campers and guests enjoying the lake.
Hiking/ Horseback Riding
Many people make the trek to Juniper Lake, not for the lake itself, but for the hiking and horseback riding opportunities.
Horseback riding or hiking can be accessed from trailheads for Horseshoe Lake, and Snag Lake.
The Mount Harkness Trail leads to the top of Mt. Harkness which until the Dixie Fire was home to a historic fire tower. The fire destroyed the historic landmark. However, in late spring/early summer, the hilltop is filled with lupine. In the fall you have views of fall colors down below. Year-round you have views of Lake Almanor to the south. From the top of Mt. Harkness, you can just make out Cinder Cone, take in views of Mt. Shasta, and have fantastic views of the Vulcan Eye on Lassen Peak.
Longer trails will take you to Butte Lake and Summit Lake.